Sign Language for Christian and Jewish Religions

Saying Prayers, Hymns and More in ASL

Cover of Sign and Say
Cover of Sign and Say. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

Deaf and hard of hearing people and families attending churches and synagogues can find sign language translations for their religion. Plenty of resources are available. Most of these resources are offline, in the form of books and video materials.

Christian Sign Language Books

Many books are available, and most are focused on signed English translations instead of American Sign Language (ASL). Here are some of the available books.

Children and Teens

  • Ann Elizabeth Signs With Love - In this book, a deaf child signs the song "Jesus Loves Me."
  • Jesus Loves Me!: Scriptures and Songs in Sign Language (Signing God's Word) - This book has 29 scriptures and three songs. For children from kindergarten through fourth grade.
  • Sign & Say: Bible Verses for Children - For preschool through elementary age. Has verses from both the Old and New Testaments.
  • Signing at Church (signed English)- This book is aimed at young adults and adults. It has things such as greetings, questions, and the Lord's Prayer.
  • Signing at Sunday School - This book has the story of Jesus, and includes a vocabulary index.
  • Signs of Faith: Bible Verses for Preteens and Youth - This book includes the Lord's Prayer and the Seven Last Words of Jesus.

Adult-Oriented

  • Faith Speaks!: Expressing God's Word In Sign Language (Signing God's Word)
  • Hymns for Signing (interpreter oriented)
  • Religious Signing : A Comprehensive Guide For All Faiths
  • With Heart and Hands and Voices: Songs With Sign Language for Sunday School, Choir, and Worship
  • Signing the Scriptures: A Starting Point for Interpreting the Sunday Readings for the Deaf (interpreter-oriented)

Christian Sign Language Videos

DeafMissions.com produces and sells religious sign language materials such as The Bible: ASL Translation.

ASLonDVD.com has a series of signed prayers and hymns, A Praising Spirit. Additional religious video materials are available from vendors of deaf and hard of hearing products:

  • Forgiven (with Mark Mitchum, who is also in other religious video materials)
  • Religious Signs (DVD)
  • Religious Signs Vocabulary (interpreter-oriented)
  • In Sign Language Series (covers Amazing Grace, God Bless America, The Lord's Prayer, and more).
  • Lift Up Holy Hands (more church songs, including Praise the Name of Jesus, We Three Kings, O Come, All Ye Faithful, and several more).

Religious Sign Dictionaries Online

A few religious sign language dictionaries are available online:

  • DeafMissions has an animated dictionary of religious signs online. Signs are demonstrated in cartoons, with individual signs and phrases.
  • ASLPro.com also has a religious sign dictionary online with video clips.

Signed Bible Stories

The producers of ASLPro.com sent me an e-mail about ASLBible.com, and provided this description:

"We provide free resources in the form of rich visual multimedia including signed stories from the Old and New Testaments, signed poetry, signed music, and just for fun activities - all free to the user.

In addition, we are currently adding 3D Bible stories to the site that are short videos from the Bible and modern day parables related to Bible themes. ASLBible.com is being created as a shared experience for both the Deaf and the hearing. Our 3D Bible stories include closed captioning that can be enjoyed by both categories of users, and would be extremely helpful to families in a homeschooling environment."

Sign Language in Judaism

Here is an article, Signs of Chanukah, that points to some sign language resources for Judaism.

Sources:

Disability World, accessed 04/05/08

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